Archives for Inspiration

Creative Thinking

Art Is Being In The World


What is art? Where do you make it? Where do you show it?

How you think about those questions can impact how you see yourself as a creator, and what you do about being one.

Artist Robert Irwin, a pioneer of the Light and Space movement, in 1970 abandoned his studio practice.

In a recent interview, he comments:

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Use Your Imagination


In her Harvard Commencement Address, author J.K. Rowling spoke about the "uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not" as "the fount of all invention and innovation."

She also noted the power of our imagination for understanding other people’s challenges. She worked for a time for Amnesty International, and says she used some of that experience in creating her ‘Harry Potter’ books.

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Trusting Your Instincts to Be Creative


Being creative, realizing our talents and crafting a fulfilling life involve self-awareness and respecting who we really are, including our unconscious depths. Many artists, psychologists and others refer to access to our creative inner depths as instinct or intuition.

Actor Jodie Foster describes what many artists want in their work:

“You look for films that hit you in the gut, in this unconscious place that really moves you, then you can’t help but make the movie because it’s something that you fear and you want to know more about it.”

Continue Reading

Creative Thinking

Introvert Power To Be Creative

"When I began this book, I wanted to resolve the paradox of meditating in the mosh pit — to emancipate introverts from the constraints of an extroverted society. But the reality of the mosh pit woke me up to something new."
Psychologist Laurie Helgoe also writes in her book "Introvert Power" about her early life - perhaps you can relate, especially if you are introverted and/or highly sensitive:

Continue Reading

Identity

The Artist As Outsider

Being a misfit or outsider can be distressing or downright painful, especially as a teen, but many artists say it is part of their experience that helps them be more creative. Writer Anne Rice talks about being "a bad student, I daydreamed in class, wrote stories in my notebooks. I learned the basics, but most of my active intellectual life was outside of school. It was acutely painful because [my sister and I] felt different, like misfits. Our individuality was almost irrepressible, but I wanted to fit in."

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Sex and Energy and Creativity


"If I was in denial about my sexuality, I'd be in denial about aspects of my work, which deals with personal revelations." Artist Tracey Emin

“Sexuality is the greatest gift we’ve been given. Its energy is the basis of creativity, love, ambition, desire, life. Sexuality has gotten all these bad raps because it’s so powerful.” Writer Eve Ensler

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Todd Kashdan on Our Dark Side and Creativity


"When we are happy, we are very superficial in our thinking."

A clinical psychologist, professor and well-being researcher, Todd Kashdan addresses how happiness and "unwanted" emotions affect creative thinking and overall well-being in his book "The Upside of Your Dark Side" - an admittedly 'provocative' title that may bring to mind Darth Vader.

What some may label "negative" emotions and ideas are what psychologist Carl Jung and others identify as part of the Shadow Self, which may in varying degrees be shut away from our awareness by active suppression or repression and just not paying attention.

But as artists and others realize, our inner depths - this wealth of emotional and imaginational material - can provide material for creative expression.

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Playing and Being Creative


"Swept up by the deeper states of play, one feels balanced, creative, focused..."

Diane Ackerman is a poet, essayist and naturalist who has taught at a number of universities, including Columbia and Cornell. In her book "Deep Play" she talks about being able to "play anywhere that is set off from reality, whether it be a playground, a field, a church or a garage.

"Deep play doesn't have to do with an activity, like shallow play. It has to do with attitude or an extraordinarily intense state..."

This is, she notes, a way to experience flow, which enhances creative work:

Continue Reading